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US blasts Russian Navy ship’s “erratic” maneuver

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
File photo shows USS San Jacinto

The United States has hit out at Russia over a “high risk” maneuver of a Russian frigate near an American warship in the eastern Mediterranean.

The US European Command said Saturday that the Russian frigate, Yaroslav Mudry, came unnecessarily close to the guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto on June 30 and maneuvered afterwards.

The US military said in a statement that the American warship was not threatened, "But the closing distance by Yaroslav Mudry before the ship turned away from San Jacinto is considered a high risk maneuver, highly unprofessional, and contrary to international maritime regulations."

It described the move, the second such incident in the region in a matter of weeks, as "aggressive, erratic maneuvers."

The US added that "these actions can unnecessarily escalate tensions between countries, and could result in dangerous miscalculations or accidents."

This is while on Tuesday, the Russian Defense Ministry said that US warship USS Gravely came within the “dangerous” distance of 180 meters of the Yaroslav Mudry on June 17.

It said in a statement that the incident took place in international waters and that the Russian ship maintained her course and refrained from entering dangerous maneuvers with the US ship.

“The US sailors, in particular, neglected Rule 13, which stipulates that an overtaking vessel must keep out of the way of the vessel being overtaken,” read the statement.

It further noted that, the US ship had violated rule 15, which states that a ship that has another vessel on its starboard side must yield and refrain from crossing ahead of her.

The statement also called on the Pentagon to pay attention to such incidents instead of accusing Russian forces of unprofessional conduct.     

In April, a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 jet performed a flyby over the USS Donald Cook destroyer in the Baltic Sea, prompting harsh reactions from US Secretary of State John Kerry who called the move “reckless” and “provocative,” saying the US had every right to shoot the plane down.

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